Intel’s Mobileye division used the CES 2021 virtual scene to report on its advances in vehicle automation. Information about Intel’s intentions to use its competencies in the field of silicon photonics to create a lidar by 2025 was confirmed.
For mass use of the technology of automatic control of machines, its cost must be reduced, as Intel notes in its press release. Mobileye’s policy is to use two independent channels for receiving information from sensors and cameras, which significantly increases the reliability of the control system.
The head of the Israeli company Amnon Shashua (Amnon Shashua) demonstrated a prototype of a software-defined radar with 2304 channels. As conceived by Mobileye, it will allow the company’s customers to adapt the radar to their needs through the accompanying software.
Intel’s silicon photonics lab has succeeded in combining active and passive laser elements on a single silicon chip, Shashua said. Lidar based on this technology received the designation PIC – a circuit with integrated photonics (Photonic Integrated Circuit). Its 184 vertical lines pass through the optics; Intel intends to manufacture a unique component independently. Lidar of this type will be ready for use in 2025.
It should not be forgotten that production cars are also equipped with Mobileye cameras and specialized chips, which are involved in collecting the information necessary to build accurate digital maps of the terrain. During the day, the amount of data corresponding to 8 million km of run is processed, in total, more than 1 billion km have already been covered. At least one million production vehicles equipped with Mobileye equipment are currently moving on the roads of the planet.
Mobileye illustrates its success in mapping with two examples. In 2020, at the height of the pandemic, the company was unable to send a team of engineers to test unmanned prototypes on the streets of Munich and Detroit. Mobileye’s partners were entrusted with the appropriate vehicles, which in just a few days were able to draw up accurate maps of selected streets of the indicated cities, after which the equipment was able to move along these routes with minimal intervention of the testers.
This practice will become widespread this year. Prototypes based on the Ford Fusion chassis (in Russia the model is known as Mondeo) will go to Mobileye partners in Detroit, Tokyo, Shanghai, Paris and New York. In the latter case, it will only be necessary to obtain permission from the authorities to test the “robo-car” on public roads. By adding four new countries to the geography of its tests, Mobileye will not send engineers to collect information and configure prototypes, all work will be done remotely.